Lise, who moved to Slovenia from Denmark, believes that we do not always know how to take advantage of opportunities properly.
A talkative hose riding instructress and a successful businessperson Lise Pavšič came to Slovenia from her native Denmark because of the business. She was a tour guide for Danish tourists in Slovenia. Upon gaining Slovenian independence, she experienced love and new opportunities, which convinced her to stay on the sunny side of the Alps.
She and her husband founded the Slodan Company (abbreviated from Slovenia + Denmark) 25 years ago. As Lise says, at that time they were pioneers in supplying and selling eco beddings, home textiles and furniture made of natural raw materials from Denmark and the UK.
About the relations between employees
Arriving in Slovenia, she realized that the economy of this country seriously differs from the Scandinavian countries. Firstly, because there is no tradition of mutual respect between an employer and an employee, and that the entrepreneurs put low value on both their personnel and the capital generated thereby. In her company, she wanted to get rid of such prejudice, and provide her employees with good opportunities for progressing and cooperating in the course of decision-making.
“At the same time, my husband and I had to work hard, so that workers did realize that we were not going to use them, but on the contrary we wanted to cooperate with them,” Lise says. The major values that always guide her through the world of business are mutual respect and mutual responsibility between an employer and an employee. Therefore, she expected the same from her employees. She realized that she should create such work conditions so that her employees would respect her.
Before the major global flows of imports and the opening of large shopping textiles and furniture stores in Slovenia and before the crisis in 2006, the couple was very successful in business. However, later her husband and she could no longer remain on the market, because the competition was too strong, and they sold the company.
In the period of crisis and uncertain market situation, Lise firstly noted that the Slovenian human resource policy demonstrated the absence of opportunities for business and labour insurance. Workers could hardly rely neither on sick pay, nor on additional compensations in the event of crisis within their company. “In Denmark, employers may insure themselves and their contracts. Besides, if they work with unreliable partners, they can insure individual contracts. At that time, Slovenia did not have such policy,” Lise compares the situation in the business world of Slovenia and Denmark.
You get money when everything else goes well
At first, Lise had certain difficulties because of the language barrier. In spite of this, she noted that she was always and everywhere heartily welcomed.
It was important to have time not only for business, but for the family as well. “The successful entrepreneurs are those who live life to the full, and not those who earn more money. Financial success is not far off if everything else is well organized,” Lise Pavšič believes. She earned enough money together with her husband while running the business and later built a farm for breeding Icelandic horses. First it was their hobby and then it transformed into a small business project — a horse riding school. In a couple of years they launched another business project — hostel services with breakfast.
Lise Pavšič is sure that Slovenia is an excellent country for investments, because the Slovenes are not conscious and resourceful enough to take advantage of all the opportunities provided to them. “It is economically efficient to invest in a small business, which can be operated on a resource self-dependence and eco-friendly farming, and in those start-ups that the Slovenes do not notice themselves or are not simply in the habit of developing them. However, every rational businessman would cope with such challenges,” Lise Pavšič says.
Lise considers it sad that the Slovenes are selling out all their natural resources, for instance water, because, to her opinion, this kind of business is not rational for such a small country like Slovenia. “We, the Slovenes, were not sufficiently self-critical during the transition period and we believed that everything taken from abroad was as god as those domestically produced. This believe ultimately proved to be illusory,” this is how Lise describes her point of view. It also seems to her illogical that it is allowed for an owner of an unsuccessful business to carry out similar activities with regard to another enterprise.
“It is difficult to be an entrepreneur, so I have great respect for anyone who runs business seriously and diligently. I also hope that the government will help entrepreneurs and will not restrict them in certain activities,” Lise notes.